I write about what I write about, not because it’s something that comes easy to me – I write about it because I’ve always found it difficult.
It’s difficult to practice selfcare, when all space for me in my life has been taken over by all of the other things. I find it hard to own my creativity, to call myself an artist, to call myself a writer, to make things to sell to people, to put my work out there for consumption and judgement, to make work that is vulnerable, to acknowledge how hard life is and feels sometimes. That overwhelming aloneness of being a single mum that is inescapable at times.
I have to consciously notice the care and connections we have as a family, that surround us and are embedded in the life I have built, or else that aloneness can drown out everything else. The isolation that happens when your family is just a little different than most. Especially socially.
I write to make sense of things. To process things, and when I have no words I paint. I write daily and have for nearly twenty years now. Yet I still struggle to call myself a writer. Writing has been a balm that has soothed the very real aloneness that has surrounded me and my children at different stages.
I write about creativity and it’s value because at times it has saved my life. Creativity and creating, I have come to realise, is as vital daily for my soul as food is for my body. And yet, I have found it hard to make the space for it in my life. I have found it hard to justify the time, money and energy spent. To myself at times and to others.
I found it hard to stay connected to my sense of creative purpose after University. Through day jobs and those early years of children, the space for my creative dreams in my life just seemed to be consistently shrinking. DV, divorce, poverty and parenting children with disabilities seemed to swallow up my creative dreams. In many ways circumstances felt like it was swallowing up my very self.
I wrote nearly every morning throughout it all. Sometimes my morning pages were the only creative practice I had. But that daily writing practice felt like a promise to myself, that I was still in there, that my dreams were still alive and that there would come a time when I could explore them further. It felt like a vow to myself to not let the limits of my current circumstance dictate the limits of my dreams, of my creativity, of my life.